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  • One Planet Living (Pooran Desai, Paul King, 2006)  ISBN 978-1-901970-85-2

One Planet Living (Pooran Desai, Paul King, 2006) ISBN 978-1-901970-85-2

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About the author (2006)

Pooran Desai is a co-founder of BioRegional, a solutions-based environmental organisation, and one of the initiators of BedZED, the UK’s largest and most acclaimed eco-village. He is a co-director of One Planet Living.Paul King is Director for the One Million Sustainable Homes campaign at WWF – the world’s leading conservation and environmental organization. The aim of the campaign is to move sustainability from the fringes to the mainstream of the UK housing sector. He is a co-director of One Planet Living.

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Globally, we’re ravaging the planet’s resources at a faster rate than the planet can replenish them, causing problems such as disappearing forests, declining fisheries and climate change. One Planet Living aims to demonstrate how people around the world can address key human needs such as housing, clothing, food, healthcare, education, energy, transport, leisure and even happiness to provide solutions that are attractive and affordable. OPL is set to become the leading philosophy for sustainable living and the phrase has been adopted by the UK government in its Sustainable Development Strategy, and formed a major strand of the successful bid for the London 2012 Olympics - One Planet Olympics. Paperback 128 Pages

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    An introduction to sustainability with a conflict of interests
    Review by Jeremy Williams on 11/07/2017
    One Planet Living is a little book, full of pictures and glossy graphics, and it introduces ten principles of sustainable living. These include zero carbon and zero waste, but also fair trade, local culture, and wildlife conservation. Always good to see a holistic approach. It's easy to read, and there are some great practical examples. Despite its drastic oversimplifications, it's a useful starting point for those very new to the idea of sustainability.

    However, one planet living in this context is One Planet Living with capital letters, a scheme set up by WWF and Bioregional. If you've visited B+Q recently, you may have seen the little One Planet Living logo on the staff uniforms. The work that's being done with business is great, but this is a book that promotes sustainable living and its own projects in equal measure. For example, the book talks about how polluting aviation is, and advises that we avoid flying as much as possible. Then, just a few pages later, the reader is invited to "take a holiday with One Planet Living" at one of Bioregional's centres in Australia, South Africa, or China. Luckily for us we can offset that flight, we're told, and perhaps we'd like to use Gold Standard scheme, which is run by WWF.

    The One Planet Living project has much to recommend it, but the book is rather compromised by conflict of interests and self-promotion.
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    One Planet Living
    Review by Mr. C. P. Butfield on 11/07/2017
    For me the best thing about this book is that it inspires you to actually get up and do all the things that you probably know you should do. The reason for this is that instead of lecturing you it places into context things like energy efficiency in the home and explains in a very engaging, easy to read way why your contribution matters.

    This book isn't preachy in any way and as such you come away feeling good about the ways you can save the environment rather than guilty about living in the 21st century.
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    One Planet Living
    Review by Ms. A. J. Williams on 11/07/2017
    It's a great, pocket-sized book with lots of tips about how to live more sustainably and in an eco-friendly way. It's very accessible, and doesn't overwhelm you with facts and figures, so it's good if you just want to find out a bit more about how green issues affect your life.
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    Pocket size and practical
    Review by ByTheSea on 11/07/2017
    This is a great little book, and at £4.99 a perfect small gift.

    It has a good balance of 'aspirational' lifestyle information (we can't all live in BedZED type developments, but it's good to hear about them) and practical tips for leading a more sustainable lifestyle. And it is about lifestyle, not just your usual recycling tips and stuff.

    I thought, given I think I lead a fairly low impact life and am quite aware of the issues, that it might be a bit basic because it's a 'little book', but I found plenty in there to hold my attention.

    It's also written in a feel-good way, which makes it easy to read and to dip in to. I'm usually prone to flicking but I did read this cover to cover and enjoyed it a lot.

    Perhaps the only criticisms are that it's a bit basic and topline, but I don't think it's pretending to be the definitive manual to a green lifestyle, just a thought provoking starting point (and as I said above, I'm pretty commmitted to a greener way of living and still found it helpful). Also, it's probably going to be out of date in a few years because technology changes, but hopefully there will be an updated version when that happens so we can see how things have moved on.

    Another plus point about the book is the foreword. As any of my friends will tell you, I have a bit of a thing about Kevin McCloud! - I think he's great and having a foreword written by someone I think has done a lot for mainstreaming the sustainability message is a bonus.

    All in all, I'd say you want to stock up on these now and give everyone a copy for Christmas.